skip to main content

Flooded Habitats and You

Spring Water Awareness ProgramThis is the page of the former Spring Water Awareness (SWAP) program. The new program for schools is called Flooded Habitats and You.

This program educates students about staying safe in times of flooding. Flooded Habitats and You helps students increase their understanding of the impacts of flooding on plants, animals, and humans and how to keep themselves safe around water. 

Ausable Bayfield Conservation reaches out to schools located in Ausable Bayfield watersheds. Flooded Habitats and You includes both guided and interactive activities and the students have fun while learning about making appropriate safety decisions around waterways.

Flooded Habitats and You

formerly Spring Water Awareness Program (SWAP)

Flooded Habitats and You is a FREE program available to all schools within Ausable Bayfield Conservation watersheds from November to April. 

Junior division students enjoy age-appropriate activities that are designed to teach children about flooding, its impact on plants, animals and humans and how to take responsibility for their own safety around water. 

Water safety messaging has now been integrated into the Our Water World program at the Primary Level and into the Get to Know Your H20 program for Grade 8.  Please book these in-school programs to ensure students learn about dangers around water.

Ask about booking Flooded Habitats and You in your classroom for grades 4-7. 

Ausable Bayfield Conservation elementary watershed schools are welcome to book your FREE Flooded Habitats and You by contacting Denise Iszczuk at diszczuk(at)abca.ca or Nina Sampson nsampson(at)abca.ca or phone 519-235-2610 or toll-free 1-888-286-2610 or visit the staff contacts list at this link:

Website links

For useful information on teaching and learning about being safe around water visit the Ausable Bayfield Conservation links page and look for the 'Flooded Habitats and You' links:

Key Messages

Accidents are the leading cause of death among children 5-15 years of age. Many accidents are the result of lack of education and awareness. A concerted effort on all of our parts to teach children the dangers of thin ice and fast flowing rivers and creeks will give them the edge they need to play safely and avoid a tragedy this spring.

  1. Never play by water when you are alone.
  2. Always have an adult check if the ice is thick enough before you play on it.
  3. Never stand up in a canoe.
  4. Always wear a life jacket near water.
  5. Never drink water directly from a river or creek or pond.
  6. Always read and obey warning signs near water.
  7. Never play by dams and water control structures.
  8. Never go out at night on ice or unknown areas
  9. Always tell an adult where you are playing and when you'll be home.
  10. Call 911 or get a parent or guardian for all water-related emergencies.
  11. Take safety equipment with you and have it ready
Key Terms
  • Black, Gray or Blue Ice: Dark areas of ice that are thin and weak spots
  • Channel: The area between the banks of a stream where water normally flows
  • Conservation: The wise use and protection of our natural resources
  • Conservation authority: A community-based environmental protection agency with responsibilities under the Conservation Authorities Act.
  • Culvert: A large pipe or tube that allows water to flow under a road or driveway
  • Current: The force of moving water
  • Dam: A barrier set across a river to control the flow of water
  • Disoriented: Confused; unable to make sense of one's surroundings
  • Erosion: The movement of soil by wind, water or ice
  • Evaporation: The process by which water turns into a gas and goes to the sky.
  • Flood: The overflowing of water in a river onto the flood plain
  • Flood plain: The flat land beside a watercourse that periodically becomes covered by water; the river's living space
  • Freshet: A great increase in the amount of water in a stream caused by heavy rains or melting snow, usually in the spring
  • Hazard: A source of danger or risk, especially to one's personal safety
  • Hypothermia: A life-threatening condition in which a person's deep body temperature is lowered by exposure to cold air or water.
  • Water Cycle: The process of water movement from the ground to the sky and back.
  • Waterway: Any body of water flowing into another body of water
  • Watershed: An area of land that drains into a river or lake
  • Wetland: A type of habitat that has water in it for all or part of the year.
Ecosystem Exploration
Primary

This outdoor schoolyard-based program encourages students to explore nature. Facilitated activities are linked to grade-specific environmental science concepts. Students are introduced to mapping through story and will explore distinct ares of your schoolyard and make observations of all the living things they see. 

This program takes 1.5-2 hours and can be delivered in one teaching block, for schools with balanced days, or split with a break for recess. 

Junior

This outdoor schoolyard program introduces students to the concepts around habitats and biodiversity in your very own schoolyard with facilitated activities to develop knowledge and skills to complete a schoolyard bioblitz!

Grade 6 students will be taught how to use a dichotomous key. 

Working in small groups or partners student will complete at schoolyard bioblitz. Worksheets provided for this program include optional extension activities. We recommend teachers plan time to debrief this program in class.

Collected data could be used from data management and probability in mathematics.  

This program takes 1.5-2 hours and can be delivered in one teaching block, for schools with balanced days, or split with a break for recess. 

Intermediate

Intermediate students will be introduced to concepts of carrying capacity, decomposers, produces and consumers through facilitated activities. The class will then work together to identify different habitats within your schoolyard and then working in small groups students will collect abiotic and biotic information about their assigned study area. 

Worksheets provided for this program include optional extension activities. We recommend teachers plan time to debrief this program in class and have students compare data from different areas within your schoolyard. Collected data could be used from data management and probability in math.  

This program takes 1.5-2 hours and can be delivered in one teaching block, for schools with balanced days, or split with a break for recess.